Doctor of Business Administration
Module Title: Global Strategy
Exploring Corporate Strategy, Work Assignment 5.1 (page 205)
Prepared by: Rohan Anderson
Facilitator: Dr. Cecil Goodridge
Question 5.1 Identify four organisations that, in your view, are in the different phases of strategic drift (see Exhibit 5.2). Justify your selection.
Strategic drift, as defined by Gerry Johnson in Exploring Corporate Strategy, is the tendency to develop strategies incrementally on the basis of historical and cultural influences, while failing to keep pace with a changing environment. In such circumstances the strategy of the organization gradually drifts away from the realities of its environment and towards an internally determined view of the world of management. Strategic drift occurs when a company, especially one that has enjoyed considerable success, responds far too slowly to changes in the external environment and continues with the strategy that once served it very well.
There are four phases in strategic drift; incremental change (phase 1), strategic drift (phase 2), flux (phase 3) and transformational change or death (phase 4). Phase 1 is characterized by relatively long periods during which strategies are either unchanged or change incrementally. This change is generally in keeping with the environment or may have slight variations around a successful theme as the company avoids drifting too far from some past successes. In phase 2 the environment grows at a faster rate than the firm’s strategies. This may occur for several reasons, that is ; while one may be aware that changes are happening, the extent may not be so easily appreciated except in hindsight or as reflected through the financials; it could also be that while the changes are observed they are interpreted in terms of the familiar thus resulting in the wrong